Wednesday, 18 February 2009

The Temptations - Legacy - 2004 - Motown

Legacy” was the Temps' 60th album release and were joined by Motown veteran G.C. Cameron, and Joe Herndon. This CD has its seriously killer moments and is essential listening. The dancers are SUPERB and Steve Harvey takes the limelight with his specific inclusions. The real nostalgia is there in the opening - the autobiographical "Still Tempting" which deals with the original line up back in 1964 and their trials and tribulations dealing with their dance routines and the fact that after all this time they are still here, still doing the rounds. And, yes, still tempting us with their unique sound. I was absolutely ECSTATIC when I heard "'Round Here" - this is CLASSIC Temptations a la Norman Whitfield "Papa Was A Rollin' Stone" with strong, gravelly vocals, funky bass lines, wah wah guitar. Only Steve Harvey could have pulled this off for the Temptations. More up-to-date is "Stay Together" which is more R&B inclined; the happy, clappy beat could be straight from the songbook of Eric Benét or Rahsaan Patterson. Just great.

“Somethin' Special” is a KILLER. Joe Herndon's monologue at the start of this song almost made me fall off my chair. This guy has a voice that is so similar to the late, great Melvin Franklin, and this really could be Melvin speaking. I rushed straight to their "Bareback" album and played "Easy To Love" - these guys are virtually identical. Great choice, Otis! The first single release was "Fifty Fifty Love" which was not immediately a track that I liked, but after a few plays I grew to love it. Joe opens up the gorgeous "Love To The Music" and we are led into a swaying guitar filled gem that wings me way back to the late 70s / early 80s; great vocal arrangement too - innovative and different. Ron Tyson's sweet falsetto sound is just gorgeous. Here's another KILLER track … "Mr. Fix It". Joe Herndon's monologue sets the scene for this precautionary tale about keeping one's lady at the centre of your attention. Wise words indeed and as for the tune - just brilliant and with Mr. Harvey in the mix and Bobby "Rufus" Watson on guitar what could be better? I cannot recommend this CD enough for the mentioned songs. I was saddened by the 2 CDs that followed, and I only hope they return to making new, original music such as this soon.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

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